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November 10, 2003 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-11-10

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2A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 10, 2003


Saudis accus
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - Saudis blamed al-
Qaida militants yesterday for the suicide car bombing
of a Riyadh housing complex, declaring it proof of the
terror network's willingness to shed Muslim blood in
its zeal to bring down the U.S.-linked Saudi monarchy.
The attack late Saturday at an upscale compound for
foreign workers - where mostly Arabs lived - killed
11 people and wounded more than 120. The blast, not
far from diplomatic quarters and the king's main
palace, left piles of rubble, hunks of twisted metal, bro-
ken glass and a large crater.
"It's no longer an issue of terrorism for them," said
Dawood al-Shirian, a Saudi analyst. "It's become a war
on the regime, a war to turn the country into a new
Afghanistan ruled by a Saudi-style Taliban."
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage
said he was "personally quite sure" al-Qaida was
behind the Saturday night attack "because this attack
bears the hallmark of them."
Such attacks appear to be directed "against the gov-
ernment of Saudi Arabia and the people of Saudi Ara-
bia," he said, adding that he expected more to follow.
Gunmen - possibly disguised as police - shot
their way into the 200-house compound, trading fire
with security guards. The attackers, believed to be in a
police car, then drove into the compound and blew
themselves up.
Those killed were Lebanese, Egyptian, Sudanese
and Saudi - four of them children. The Interior Min-
istry said most of the 122 injured were Arabs as well.
Most of the compound's residents were Lebanese, but
some Saudis, German, French and Italian families also

e al-Qaida of car bombing


il rVwco uN DIXLDr f.
Gore condemns Bush's post-9/11 actions
Former Vice President Al Gore accused President Bush yesterday of failing to
make the country safer after the Sept. 11 attacks and using the war against terrorism
as a pretext to consolidate power.
"They have taken us much farther down the road toward an intrusive, 'big broth-
er'-style government - toward the dangers prophesied by George Orwell in his
book '1984' - than anyone ever thought would be possible in the United States of
America" Gore charged. Gore, who lost the disputed 2000 presidential election to
Bush, said terrorism-fighting tools granted after Sept. 11 amount to a partisan power
grab that have led to the erosion of the civil liberties of all Americans.
He was especially critical of the Patriot Act, which expanded government's sur-
veillance and detention power following the terrorist attacks.
Gore chided the administration for what he said was its "implicit assumption" that
Americans must give up traditional freedoms in order to be safe from terrorists.
"In my opinion, it makes no more sense to launch an assault on our civil liberties
as the best way to get at terrorists than it did to launch an invasion of Iraq as the best
way to get at Osama bin Laden," Gore said.
His speech before a crowd of about 3,000 people was sponsored by the liberal
activist group Moveon.org, which earlier this year held an online presidential pri-
mary in which Howard Dean finished first.
Suspects in Baghdad hotel attack arrested
Soldiers arrested 18 people in a deadly missile barrage last month that Deputy
Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz narrowly escaped, officials said yesterday. U.S.
warplanes bombed near a center of Iraqi resistance, and the military said it was
intensifying the fight against insurgents after increasingly bloody attacks.
The U.S. command also announced the death of another soldier, killed late Sat-
urday when his vehicle struck a land mine in Baghdad. A senior Iraqi official
warned that mounting violence may delay steps toward a new constitution, consid-
ered a major condition for returning the country to full Iraqi rule.
Lt. Col. George Krivo, spokesman for the U.S. command, said the 18 suspects
were arrested in Baghdad by the 1st Armored Division but gave no further details.
The missile attack Oct. 27 against the Al-Rasheed Hotel killed a U.S. colonel and
injured 18 others.
Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the Iraq war, was staying in the hotel but
escaped injury. The barrage was part of a series of escalated attacks over the past
two weeks, including the downing of a Chinook helicopter Nov. 2 in Fallujah in
which 16 soldiers were killed and 21 injured.

A bulldozer moves rubble from the smoldering ruins of a house as Saudi rescue personnel
stand by at dawn yesterday at the site of Saturday night's attack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

lived there.
Four U.S. citizens were among the wounded,
the ministry said. In Washington, State Depart-
ment spokeswoman Amanda Batt said "some
Americans were treated for minor injuries and

In comments published yesterday on the Web site of
Saudi daily Okaz newspaper, Interior Minister Prince
Nayef said he could not rule out a connection to sus-
pected al-Qaida terrorist cells targeted in recent
sweeps, as a number of suspects from those cells were
still at large.

States to cut next year's presidential priaries

The Associated Press
Several states have moved to drop
their presidential primaries next year,
worried about costs in still-tight finan-
cial times and wondering if the political
exercise would serve any purpose.
Some say they can't afford the mil-
lions of dollars it costs to put on an elec-
tion. Others say the decisions reflect the
lopsided nature of modern primaries:
The front-runner gets anointed by the

media and campaign donors after the
first few state primaries and the rest of
the primaries are formalities.
The decisions add fuel to the argu-
ment that the primary system is in dire
need of repairs. In most states forgoing a
primary, party-run caucuses will be used
instead to choose delegates to the
national conventions.
"Fewer voters will participate because
(caucuses) are more complex," said Cur-
tis Gans, director of the Committee for

the Study of the American Electorate.
State politicians are freezing out average
voters, he said, because caucuses bring
"lower turnout, and more advantage to
whoever's organized."
Primaries usually don't get turnout
much higher than 20 percent of regis-
tered voters, but they're better than cau-
cuses. In Missouri, the 2000 primary
brought 745,000 people to the polls,
while the 1996 caucus brought 20,000,
the state Democratic Party said.

So far, Kansas, Colorado and Utah -
all with Republican-controlled legisla-
tures - have canceled their state-run
2004 primaries. Republican legislatures
tried unsuccessfully to drop primaries in
Arizona and Missouri, but Democratic
governors either vetoed the primary bill
or restored the funding.
Some Democrats complain that cut-
ting primaries hurts them especially,
with their crowded field of candidates.
President Bush has no challenger.

Al-Sadr tones down
fiery commentary

KUFA, Iraq (AP) - A Shiite Muslim
firebrand who has been a thorn in the
side of Iraq's American administrators is
showing a more conciliatory side. Gone
is the talk of setting up a rival govern-
ment and the denounciations of rivals.
Now he says Saddam Hussein - not
America - is the enemy of Iraqis.
Muqtada al-Sadr's new tone may have
more to do with fear of arrest than any
decision to abandon his quest for leader-
ship of Iraq's Shiite majority, coalition
officials believe.
Nonetheless, it's a radical departure
for the 30-year-old al-Sadr, whose fiery
anti-American sermons raised fears of a
new front in the battle against the Amer-
ican occupation. In a rapid rise to promi-

nence this year, backed by young clerics
and mostly poor, urban Shiites, he chal-
lenged the religious elders of Iraq's Shi-
ite leadership.
Now, al-Sadr is opening channels of
dialogue with Shiite groups he once dis-
missed, his aides say. And he is striving
to attract educated Iraqis to his move-
ment by toning down his rhetoric.
The spread of anti-U.S. violence into
Shiite areas would present a grave chal-
lenge to the U.S.-led coalition. The vast
majority of attacks have been in central
and northern Iraq, areas dominated by
minority Sunni Muslims.
Last month, the chairman of the
U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen.
Richard Myers, said that Washington's
problem with al-Sadr "is that anybody
that incites violence against the coali-
tion, that's not proper or legal" and
that it "remains to be determined"
whether the Americans would take
action against him.

Opposition party
gains seats in Japan
Japan's ruling coalition will narrowly
retain power after yesterday's parlia-
mentary elections, an exit poll indicat-
ed, bolstering Prime Minister Junichiro
Koizumi's mandate to press ahead with
economic reforms.
The opposition Democratic Party,
however, also appeared set to make big
Facing his first test in lower house
elections since taking office more than
two years ago, Koizumi had called the
tightly contested race a test of his ruling
party's public support. All 480 seats in
the powerful chamber, including his
own, were up for grabs.
Public broadcaster NHK said its
exit polls indicated the Liberal
Democrats would take between 214-
241 seats, with its coalition partners
adding another 25 to 42 seats. The
opposition Democrats stood to make
a major gain, boosting from 137 to
between 170 and 205. $
Minister asks church
to widen 'fences'
The Rev. Gene Robinson began
his ministry as the Episcopal
Church's first openly gay bishop

yesterday by saying he wants to
bring the message of God's love to
"those on the margins."
He also said the church should
speak out on issues of social justice,
including the lack of access to
health care for many Americans.
"How dare we in this country spend
$87 billion on war when 44' million
people have no health insurance?"
he said in his sermon.
"It's up to the church to lead on
some of these moral issues," Robin-
son added.
Illeo l immigrants sue
store for discimn'ation
Niie illegal immigrants who worked
as janitors at Wal-Mart until they were
arrested during federal raids last month
have sued the company, accusing it of
The nine say they were paid lower
wages and offered fewer benefits
because they are Mexicans, and they
accuse Wal-Mart and its cleaning
contractors of failing to pay for
overtime, withhold taxes or make
required workers' compensation
Their lawsuit, filed Wednesday in
Superior Court in Freehold, seeks more
than $200,000 in back pay.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.


Shiite Muslim firebrand Muqtada al-Sadr leads a Friday sermon at a
mosque in the southern Iraqi town of Kufa.

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